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Staying off the Trauma Train with Shay Seaborne: PYP 409

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Shay Seaborne is a trauma survivor, educator, and activist dedicated to demystifying trauma and helping people heal from – and with – Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD).

Seaborne survived childhood sexual abuse at the hands of family members, as well as abuse and torture at other hands during her teens, only to become retraumatized by a mental healthcare system that essentially incarcerated her against her will for as long as insurance would pay for it.

She found her own road to recovery, and what she recovered was herself. And that self – funny, caring, wise – is now paying it forward.

In our far-ranging conversation, we covered the origins of trauma, the mistaken societal beliefs that reinforce trauma and get in the way of healing, and ways of empowering trauma survivors to reconnect with their bodies.

Seaborne spoke to the current pandemic as a “pre-traumatic state” for many of us, which is triggering old traumas through both chronic stress and inaccessibility of social support. As a result, we're seeing more and more acting out of old wounds on an individual and societal level.

The opportunity here is for each of us to get in touch with those old traumas, those disconnections from our selves that we enacted when our internal resources were no match for what was happening to us, and bring them into the light. To face them not as helpless infants or children, but as full adults with choices and understanding.

We discussed various ways of healing trauma, from art to drum circles to communal dance to psychedelics and other teacher plants, to a simple and quick breathing technique that Seaborne demonstrated (and guided me through). And laughter – always laughter.

After our conversation, Seaborne sent me a list of resources to share with you:

Gateway of the Inner Body meditation audio by Eckhart Tolle

This recording is one of many tools you can use to help you become more familiar with your felt sense, the sense of the inner body, a vital connection. 

Hand Washing Without Stress video with Imogen Ragone

“Take the tedium and the anxiety out of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with this practice. Each time you wash your hands you can not only be getting rid of those pesky germs, but also letting go of excess tension and stress so you feel more at ease in yourself!”

Healthy Mind Platter from Dr. Dan Siegel

Dr. Siegel’s website details the seven daily essential mental activities to optimize brain matter and create well-being: Focus Time, Play Time, Connecting Time, Physical Time, Time In, Down Time, Sleep Time.

Flower/Candle breath exercise: Break the Cycle of Distress with Self-Regulation by Shay Seaborne

Self-regulation is a key ability for all people, one often disrupted by trauma, especially in those with earliest onset. These simple practices can help an anxious person down-regulate to a more positive and prosocial activation level. They are most beneficial when practiced in advance of anxiety so they are familiar as a go-to for relief.

Mindfulness, Mindsight, and The Mind: What Are They, and Why Do They Matter?” by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

Dr. Siegel explores the areas of mindfulness, attention, and consciousness through an interpersonal neurobiology and mindsight lens. By looking closely at the history of mindfulness, a detailed understanding of the mind, and the neural structure that underlies the subjective experience of being mindful, we begin to understand how a mindfulness practice supports integration, health, and overall well-being.

BodyIntelligence and Alexander Technique with Imogen Ragone

One of my biggest stress/anxiety tools. My personal study of the neurobiology of trauma and its resolution have shown me that Alexander Technique (AT) is greatly in line with the science that heals. Alexander Technique has become my go-to for noticing ease in even the most difficult situations. Imogen developed her own unique approach, which she calls BodyIntelligence, that “integrates mindfulness, posture and self-care, to give her clients practical and empowering strategies to relieve and prevent stress and tension.”

Therapist David Bedrick's Facebook Page

Therapist, teacher, author, and attorney at David Bedrick, JD, Dipl PW offers holistic, non-shaming views of ourselves as human beings in process. His best-known book title is “Talking Back to Dr. Phil,” which exposes the shaming and harmful aspects of mainstream psychology. 

The Healthy Mind Platter

The 7 Healthy Mind Platter activities can help keep your relationships healthy and actually integrate your brain. An integrated brain is the foundation of well-being and resilience. 

Patch Adams (the real one) on YouTube

The good doctor reminds us why we need each other, and how we can help each other heal. 

Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga is not a comedy. It is an exercise program for Health and Wellbeing. The yoga part of Laughter is the combination of Laughter Exercises with yoga breathing techniques ( Pranayama ). There are more than 20,000 free social Laughter clubs in 110 countries. Besides, Laughter Yoga also being practised in Senior centres, age care facilities, schools and colleges, companies, corporations, factories, physically and mentally challenged, police and prisons.

Enjoy, add your voice to the conversation via the comment box below, and please share – that's how we spread our message and spread our roots.


I'm OK, You're OK, by Thomas Harris

Looking for Transformational Change?

You know how when you discovered plant-based eating, you basically went, “Holy shit, how come the entire healthcare system isn't totally embracing this as one of the most powerful keys to disease prevention and reversal!”?

That's how I feel now about a psychological approach to transformational change called “Memory Reconsolidation.” Few psychologists have heard about it, and when they do hear the radical transformations it can bring about in a very short time, they're often skeptical to the point of disbelief.

But I've added Memory Reconsolidation work to my own coaching, and can attest to its amazing efficacy. So much so, that I'm devoting the next year to mastering it, studying with the best clinicians and teachers in the world, and then introducing it into health coaching through my trainings.

Right now, I want to triple my coaching practice to get more and more opportunities to do this work. And I'm lowering my fees – a lot – to make it easier for people to work with me.

If you're interested in working with me (and willing to commit to a minimum of 2 months), click the link below to open the form in a new browser tab and I'll get back to you within 3 business days.

Yes, I'm interested in Memory Reconsolidation Coaching.

You CAN Change Other People!

Well, that's what Peter Bregman and I claim in our provocative book of that title.

What we really mean is, you can help the people around you make behavioral changes in their own best interests. If you think you're powerless to help people change, it's because you've been going about it the wrong way.

Discover our straightforward, replicable process here: You Can Change Other People.

Audiobook: Use the Weight to Lose the Weight

Listen to Josh LaJaunie and me narrate our latest audiobook, about how to start moving when you're obese.

It's $10, and Josh and I split it evenly 🙂

Tip Jar

This podcast is not underwritten by advertising, so I can experience complete editorial autonomy without worrying about pissing off the person paying the bills. Instead, I pay the bills, with your help. It's free for those who can't afford to pay, and supported by those who can. You can contribute to the growth and improvement of the podcast by clicking the “Support on Patreon” or “Donate” buttons on the right to help out.


The Plant Yourself Podcast theme music, “Dance of Peace (Sabali Don),” is generously provided by Will Ridenour, a kora player from North Carolina who has trained with top Senegalese musicians.

It can be found on his first CD, titled Will Ridenour.

You can learn about Will, listen to more tracks, and buy music on his website,


Thanks to Plant Yourself podcast patrons – Kim Harrison – Lynn McLellan – Brittany Porter – Dominic Marro – Barbara Whitney – Tammy Black – Amy Good – Amanda Hatherly – Mary Jane Wheeler – Ellen Kennelly – Melissa Cobb – Rachel Behrens – Tina Scharf – Tina Ahern – Jen Vilkinofsky – David Byczek – Michele X – Elspeth Feldman – Leah Stolar – Allan Kristensen – Colleen Peck – Michele Landry – Jozina – Sara Durkacs – Kelly Cameron – Janet Selby – Claire Adams – Tom Fronczak – Jeannette Benham – Gila Lacerte – David Donohue – Blair Seibert – Doron Avizov – Gio and Carolyn Argentati – Jodi Friesner – Mischa Rosen – Michael Worobiec – AvIvA Lael – Alicia Lemus – Val Linnemann – Nick Harper – Bandana Chawla – Molly Levine – The Inscrutable Harry R – Susan Laverty the Panda Vegan – Craig Covic – Adam Scharf – Karen Bury – Heather Morgan – Nigel Davies – Marian Blum – Teresa Kopel – Julian Watkins – Brid O'Connell – Shannon Herschman – Linda Ayotte – Holm Hedegaard – Isa Tousignant – Connie Haneline – Erin Greer – Alicia Davis – Heather O'Connor – Carollynne Jensen – Sheri Orlekoski of Plant Powered for Health – Karen Smith – Scott Mirani – Karen and Joe Crabtree – Kirby Burton – Theresa Carrell – Kevin Macaulay – Elizabeth Rothschild – Ann Jesse – Sheryl Dwyer – Jenny Hazelton – Peter W Evans – Dennis Bird – Darby Kelly – Lori Fanney – Linnea Lundquist – Emily Iaconelli – Levi Wallach – Rosamonde McAtee – Dan Pokorney – Stephen Leinin – Patty DeMartino – Mike and Donna Kartz – Deanne Bishop – Bilberry Elf – Marjorie Lewis – Tricia Adams – Nancy Sheldon – Lindsey Bashore – Gunn Marit Hagen – Tracey Gulledge – Lara Hedin – Meg from Mamasezz – Stacey Stokes – Ben Savage – Michael K – David Hughes -Coni Rodgers – Claire England – Sally Robertson – Parham Ganchi – Amy Dailey – Brian Tourville – Mark Jeffrey Johnson – Josie Dempsey – Caryn Schmitt – Pamela Hayden – Emily Perryman – Allison Corbett – Richard Stone – Lauren Vaught of Edible Musings – Erin Hastey – Sean Owens – Sagar Naik – Erika Piedra – Danielle Roberts – Michael Leuchten – Sarah Johnson – Katharine Floyd – Meryl Fury – for your generous support of the podcast.


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